BYD is reported to soon supply Tesla with Blade batteries
Chinese media is now reporting that Tesla will start using BYD Blade batteries already in the second quarter of next year. This news come shortly after the rumor that Tesla already has a working prototype for its compact hatchback “Model 2” to be made in China.
Could this mean that the upcoming hatchback from Tesla will arrive next year with BYD Blade batteries?
Currently, the Tesla Model 3 SR+ MIC (Made in China) gets its LFP (LiFePO4) battery cells from CATL and at the battery pack level the energy density is only 125 Wh/kg.
However, also with the cobalt-free LFP chemistry the BYD Blade battery packs have an energy density of 140 Wh/kg and 166 Wh/kg at the cell level.
BYD Blade battery cell specs
- Capacity: 202 Ah
- Nominal voltage: 3,2 V
- Max charging voltage: 3,65 V
- Energy: 646,4 Wh
- Length: 905 mm
- Height: 118 mm
- Width: 13,5 mm
- Volume: 1,4 L
- Volumetric energy density: 448 Wh/L
- Weight: 3,9 kg (estimation)
- Gravimetric energy density: 166 Wh/kg
- Cycle life: above 3.000 cycles
- Chemistry: LiFePO4 (LFP)
You probably already know my opinion about the BYD Blade battery. I think that it’s the best battery pack available today, thanks to its low cost, high safety, durability, simplicity and good performance.
If Tesla adopts this battery pack in its upcoming affordable compact hatchback it’ll definitely get a thumbs up from me.
What do you think? Is the BYD Blade battery the right one for Tesla’s most affordable model?
For the $25k Tesla the three most important parameters are range, charging speed, and price. In that order. For Europe some towing capacity is needed.
I have no idea what the best battery is to optimize to those requirements. Perhaps it is BYD blade, or LFMP rolled into 4680 cylinders.
The choice is probably density versus production cost (simplicity / automation).
Perhaps they be making MORE than just battery
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BYD would have to get enough investment to fund construction of further Blade battery factories, where at least part of that production is assigned for BYD’s own consumption, since otherwise they would be shooting themselves in the foot giving a competitor a chance to compete with their own Model 2 equivalent, the Dolphin.
BYD has multiple battery factories in various stages of production…
They are also converting some of their current factories to blade production…
What I’m saying is it won’t make sense for BYD to build new factories to allocate their full production to Tesla. Doing so would mean supplying a competitor to the detriment of your own product since the Tesla Model 2 and the BYD Dolphin are likely to compete in the same class.
It’s different if BYD’s factories are underutilized, but that would make little sense to me given BYD’s expansion abroad and the Dolphin production getting started.
For that purpose BYD has revamped its entire parts business, including batteries and semiconductors, as Fudi Technology two years ago. It allows direct competitors to use BYD parts without BYD-logo’s. The purpose was of course to increase the part sales. Fudi Technology gained its own listing on the Hong Kong Exchange last month, bringing in almost €3 billion in new funds.
The same way VW is happy to share its MEB platform with Ford, BYD, which is still a small manufacturer, could benefit of the economies of scale that higher manufacturing volumes bring, like lower prices on raw materials and supplies, bigger more profitable production lines.and shared R&D costs. By working with Tesla they are helping themselves. BTW, this would be a new validation of how good its Blade battery is and a great way for Tesla to bring new cars to market because its in-house battery production plans are taking longer than they thought.
Thanks for your comment. I think your reasoning makes sense in the context of platforms, where the cost is one of packaging systems compactly and making them work together seamlessly, as well as being flexible enough to accomodate several exterior designs.
But battery cell availability is the main limitation to EV production. If you yourself make BEVs that use those batteries, it makes little sense to cede production capacity to a competitor. It wouldn’t speak highly of BYD’s self-confidence in scaling up its own production and jars with BYD’s international EV expansion and Dolphin production scaleup plans. Both of these will require plenty of production capacity in their own right.
And Blade batteries have been validated quite extensively already. They are replacing old battery designs in model refreshes (i.e. economies of scale) and are currently being sold in places like Zimbabwe and Norway. Not to mention that they’ve been shown to resist nail penetration tests and being driven over by 46-ton heavy trucks.
I have little doubts BYD Blade tech is the state of the art on EV making. I also trust these brilliant minds won´t sign with Tesla unless it is beneficial for BYD but I understand your concern on cell availability as it can be a factor if BYD doesn´t properly sizes battery production. But the main limitation to EV production, in my view, is that EVs are still not attractive enough for many people: purchase cost, charging infrastructure, fear of change, ignorance of the total cost of ownership of an ICE vehicle vs EV, lack of your own garage to charge the car,…
There are three ways of lowering the cost of a pack: Chemistry improvements, packaging improvements (BYD Blade) and manufacturing improvements (better processes, higher volumes -> economies of scale). BYD has tackled the two first beautifully, now it has to thrive on scaling manufacturing. BYD could also benefit from Tesla IP like dry cathode manufacturing.
Supply of a more advanced LFP pack in return for some IP, now that’s a thought…
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There are 24 blades in each pack. So 646,4 Wh * 24 = 15.513,6 Wh or 15 KWh. 4 such packs will provide 60 KWh, interesting.
But BYD has whole lot of products from small cars to big 12 meter buses and they may not have sufficient batteries for their own vehicles. Selling to Tesla is highly doubtful. Lets see.
Whilei I no longer think much of Tesla as a company I have to hand it to them for being about they only auto manufacture outside of China that makes quick and smart business decisions and doesn’t let their ego get in the way of intelligent decisions…
Companies like GM and others should be immediately switching to blade batteries in their Bolt to have cheap functional safe transportation…
In a significant development Nissan reduced the price of Leaf by $4.200 for base S trim (40 KWh) in USA. This is probably in response to GM reducing price of Chevy Bolt by similar price.
With the battery prices going down, its time to lower the price of BEVs significantly.
Whether Tesla has enough batteries for Model Y from Giga-Berlin followed by Giga-Texas is big question. And then there is Cybertrk.
So they have 3 products in pipeline; cybertrk, semi, roadster. Its better that they launch these 3 first and then show the Model 2.
In any case, it will be better if Tesla starts making their own LFP battery. Perhaps they should start a whole new giga-factory for LFP given its importance in all short range vehicles.
Are you from the US?
In the EU, there is no need for a Cbrtrck or a roadster; but C segment (model 2) has the biggest sales share.
IMO they definitely need this model 2 ASAP to challenge historical OEMs in their core market.
I fully agree with Julcreff – Tesla shouldn’t wait for the Chinese to arrive with their compact Cars in Europe. Cbrtrck will be about as popular as the F150 in Europe, you hardly see them. But I actually think the Chinese will be first with compact cars considering their considerable lead in this segment. Thus for Tesla being dependent on Chinese batteries might not be such a good choice…
With the Model 2, Tesla starts kicking legacy automakers’ asses.
A super efficient compact hatchback that charges fast and is affordable is what we need in Europe. Then legacy automakers will have to stop overpricing their electric cars.
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I fully agree with all of you that a electric compact hatch at 4.000 mm (l) * 1.600 mm (w) * 1.450 mm (h) (4 passengers) will be the most fuel efficient functional car.
However, they have 3 products in pipeline which needs to be fulfilled.
Also VW ID.2 is supposed to be a CUV just like those new chinese vehicles. All that automaker has to do is increase height by 50 mm and make it 1.500 mm and call it a CUV.
Tesla may start selling Model 2 only by 2023 even if they reveal it on Aug-19 (AI Day). Lets wait to see whats in store.
Its strange, they all suddenly want to go EV only, i hear Alfa will be ev only by 2027…….where are the battery going to come from?….do they have a unknown battery tec…..solid state with + 500 wh/kg…….a lot of work going on fuel cells….are they going “H2” route?
With BYD coming to my country soon (and tesla already here) y money will go to the maker who can get me the cheapest ev, with the most range.
I was a little undewhelmed with the dolphins max pack size of 45kwh.
I now might wait to see what Tesla will bring out with the model 2.
BYD really needs to blow people out of the water with the Dolphin – IMO 45kwh will fall flat and many will wait to see what tesla does
Until sodium batteries are at large scale blade seems good. Since the sodium batteries will be able to get 160 wh/kg with a cost of only 2000 USD for 60 kWh and 500 kg, sodium should be the future for all low cost cars.
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They got a 5 star China ncap, with NA battery we should see this exported all over the world.
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BYDs formation of their new battery spin-off is apparently complete…
Their Dolphin is now apparently available for pre order at 17k…
BYD already produces electric buses in Europe and North America, maybe it’s now time to also produce batteries and electric cars outside China.
They are working on the battery part…
They are probably quite far away from car production in the EU…